How important is a good diet to student success? Very important, according the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Research showed high school students with mostly A's had a pattern of eating breakfast everyday before school, ate vegetables one or more times per day, ate fruit or consumed 100% fruit juice daily, and drank one or more glasses of milk each day.
Students with poor grades ate far fewer fruits and vegetables and had a high intake of soda pop.
"A lot of times, parents will go ahead and think that something is nutritious without checking the labels," said Karen Gold, a cooking school manager.
"Thinking that buying healthy is more expensive is a definite misconception," added Jenny LeGrand, a nutritionist.
For students who take a lunch to school with them, it is important to keep these diet guidelines in mind:
- Make sure lunches include fruits and vegetables.
- Buying fresh fruit when in season can cut the cost.
- Avoid juice boxes with lots of sugar. Use 100% fruit juice instead.
- Give students a small thermos so they can take soup or something warm to eat
- Avoid potato chips
- No not send kids to school with soda pop. The sugar rush they get from soda will wear off leaving them feeling drowsy.
- Use a "bento box" with compartments and make your own snack pack for students.
- Have students be part of the lunch making process so they will look forward to eating.
- Check your students' lunchbox after school. Uneaten food means kids are not interested in that item - look to substitute something else.
- Buying in bulk is cheaper.
- Grapes and strawberries are easier for little hands to hold.
- Whole grain bread is a better choice.
- Remember that kids like sandwich wraps too. Consider using pita bread or tortilla wraps.
- Make sandwiches healthier by adding a piece of lettuce.
- Make peanut butter & jelly sandwiches healthier by replacing the jelly with a banana or a slice of fruit. It will give the kids the sweet taste they are looking for.
- Keep lunches interesting. For example, try wrapping a mozzarella cheese stick in a piece of turkey lunch meat. Cut it into bite-sized pieces.
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